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A stroke occurs when a blood vessel that carries oxygen and nutrients to the brain is either blocked by a clot or bursts. When that happens, part of the brain cannot get the blood (and oxygen) it needs, so it starts to die. You can greatly reduce your risk for stroke through lifestyle changes and, in some cases, medication. Stroke can cause death or significant disability, such as paralysis, speech difficulties, and emotional problems. Some new treatments can reduce stroke damage if patients get medical care soon after symptoms begin. When a stroke happens, it is important to recognize the symptoms, call 9-1-1 right away, and get to a hospital quickly.

Stroke Signs and Symptoms

More About Stroke and Stroke Prevention


The FAST test is an easy way to recognize and remember the signs of stroke or a transient ischemic attack (TIA). Using the FAST test involves asking three simple questions.

F = Facial Weakness
Can the person smile? Have their mouths or eyes drooped?

A = Arm Weakness
Can the person raise both arms? Is one arm slightly lower?

S = Speech/Sight Difficulty
Can the person speak or see clearly and understand what you say?

T = Time to Act
Time loss is brain lost. Call 9-1-1.

Strokes Activities and Partnerships

Page last updated: March 24, 2023